Scottish Country Dance

Scottish Country dance is a form of social dance involving groups of couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns according to a predetermined choreography. Country dancing is sometimes mistaken for a type of folk dancing, but it is actually the ballroom dance form of Scotland, as its original base of dancers was from the more educated and wealthy classes of the Renaissance. Scottish country dancing (a social form of dance with two or more couples of dancers) should not be confused with Scottish highland dance (a solo form of dance). There is a certain amount of cross-over, in that there are Scottish country dances that include highland elements as well as highland-style performance dances which use formations otherwise seen in country dances, but these are relatively few when the two dance forms are considered each as a whole.

The dances are set to music – Jigs, Reels and Strathspeys – that come from the gaelic tradition of highland Scotland. Traditionally a figure (pattern) corresponds to an eight bar phrase of music. It is suitable for men, women and children of all ages in teams of 3, 4 or 5 couples arranged in either 2 lines (men facing ladies) or in a square, working together to dance a sequence of formations. This leaves the dancers in a new order, and the dance is repeated enough times to bring them back to their starting positions, with everyone dancing each position in turn.

Scottish Highland Dancing

Highland dancing is a competitive and technical dance form requiring technique, stamina, and strength, and is recognised as a sport by the Sport Council of Scotland. In Highland dancing, the dancers dance on the balls of the feet. Highland dancing is a form of solo step dancing, from which it evolved, but while some forms of step dancing are purely percussive in nature, Highland dancing involves not only a combination of steps but also some integral upper body, arm, and hand movements.

Some Highland dances do derive from traditional social dances, however. An example is the Highland Reel, also known as the Foursome Reel, in which groups of four dancers alternate between solo steps facing one another and a figure-of-eight style with intertwining progressive movement. Even so, in competitions, the Highland Reel dancers are judged individually. Most Highland dances are danced solo.

Members of the Victorian Scottish Dancing Members Association dance under the rules of the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. Dancers and judges participate throughout Australia and worldwide.

Irish Dancing

Dancers from the Victorian Irish Dance Academy showcase the best Irish dancing has to offer, from traditional reels and ceilidh dances, to modern fast-paced hard shoe numbers. Based in Tecoma, the academy runs Irish dance classes for students of all ages and levels.

Ceffyl Gwyn Welsh Dancers

Welsh dancing saw a revival in the 20th century through the efforts of dance historians and the formation of the Welsh Folk Dance Society in 1949. Welsh dances share many features in common eith other dance forms in the British Isles, with Scottisn and English Country Dancing in particular and, in some instances, with Morris dancing as well. What differentiates Welsh dancing from the Scottish and English is the style and variety of music danced to and also the complexity of the dances.

Victorian Scottish Union Dancing

Glenbrae Celtic Dancers is an affiliated sociaty under the auspice of the Victorian Scottish Union. The VSU was established in 1905 and has continuously conducted highland dancing and Scottish events since that time. Glenbrae are responsible for the conduct of competitions, exhibitions and classes within the metropolitan area. Glenbrae also travel extensively throughout Victoria, and have travelled to New Zealand to support their Highland Dance Academy. Dancers still wear the full kilt, plaid and hat as was traditional in the early 1900s.

Highland Hustle

Highland Hustle is a fun dance workout inspired by Scottish Highland dance and Ceilidh steps that are choreographed to funky, upbeat music. It’s all about having fun and dancing to some great tunes, while improving fitness, strength, flexibility and boosting your mood!